Unprotected Storage of Credentials
Storing a password in plaintext may result in a system compromise.
Password management issues occur when a password is stored in plaintext in an application's properties or configuration file. Storing a plaintext password in a configuration file allows anyone who can read the file access to the password-protected resource.
The following examples help to illustrate the nature of this weakness and describe methods or techniques which can be used to mitigate the risk.
Note that the examples here are by no means exhaustive and any given weakness may have many subtle varieties, each of which may require different detection methods or runtime controls.
The following code reads a password from a properties file and uses the password to connect to a database.
This code will run successfully, but anyone who has access to config.properties can read the value of password. If a devious employee has access to this information, they can use it to break into the system.
The following code reads a password from the registry and uses the password to create a new network credential.
This code will run successfully, but anyone who has access to the registry key used to store the password can read the value of password. If a devious employee has access to this information, they can use it to break into the system
The following examples show a portion of properties and configuration files for Java and ASP.NET applications. The files include username and password information but they are stored in cleartext.
This Java example shows a properties file with a cleartext username / password pair.
The following example shows a portion of a configuration file for an ASP.Net application. This configuration file includes username and password information for a connection to a database but the pair is stored in cleartext.
Username and password information should not be included in a configuration file or a properties file in cleartext as this will allow anyone who can read the file access to the resource. If possible, encrypt this information.
Weaknesses in this category are related to the A2 category in the OWASP Top Ten 2017.
Weaknesses in this category are related to the design and architecture of data confidentiality in a system. Frequently these deal with the use of encryption libraries....
This category identifies Software Fault Patterns (SFPs) within the Exposed Data cluster (SFP23).
This view (slice) covers all the elements in CWE.
This view (slice) lists weaknesses that can be introduced during design.
This view (slice) displays only weakness base elements.